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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Links - 11th November 2014

Gender bias allegations over Singapore Literature Prize English Poetry results - "Poet Grace Chia, whose poetry collection Cordelia was shortlisted for this year's Singapore Literature Prize in the English poetry section, has strongly voiced her concerns over the apparent sidelining of women's writing, saying that the results have left her "silenced into shock"... Chia wrote in a public post on the Junoesq Literary Journal's Facebook page on Wednesday night: "The fact that the prize has been given to two co-winners who are both male poets is deeply informing of choice, taste and affirmation. A prize so coveted that it has been apportioned to two male narratives of poetic discourse, instead of one outstanding poet - reeks of an engendered privilege that continues to plague this nation's literary community... Gwee had spoken on behalf of the three poetry judges at the awards ceremony. He added: "The judges read every entry carefully before arriving at the shortlist and we committed ourselves to re-read and discuss the shortlisted works several times before deciding on the winners. We read blind to race, gender, sexual orientation, politics and beliefs, and we needed to. Our only standard has been poetic merit. In this respect, Yong Shu Hoong's and Joshua Ip's work have emerged the strongest for us"... Dr Leong added: "I hope that one day a woman poet will win the prize, but I'm also not concerned with gender - I am concerned primarily with poetic excellence. She may be gay, she may be bisexual, she may be heterosexual, but I want the book to be worthy of the Singapore Literature Prize in Poetry." "
Original Post and followup
Why are poets immune to accusations of Male Privilege? In other cases there would be a chorus of support despite the (lack of) merit of the accusations. Maybe just like blacks 'cannot be racist', those who criticise 'oppression' cannot be oppressive

A Different Kind of Privileged Literature | Benjamin Cheah - "If Chia had won the prize, she could use her newfound publicity to further promote the Journal and affirm the need to create a women-only space for writing. As Chia lost the prize, it would be politically acceptable in certain circles for her to toss around allegations of bias and privilege, affirming the need for a women-only space for writing — like the Journal. Either way, she cannot lose... When a female poet makes allegations of gender bias against women about a literature prize, a large broadsheet reported her claims. It is politically correct for a woman to do this, and feminists and Social Justice Warriors will cheer her on and lend her support. Male authors who allege biases against writers who do not possess a specific political point of view are relentlessly swarmed by the same pseudo-thought police, as seen in the kerfuffle leading up to the Hugo Awards. When a literary journal is set up only for women, either nobody comments or else the event is celebrated. A Google search for women’s-only literary journals will return pagefuls of results, linking to many female writing spaces. Conversely, a search for male-exclusive literature journals returns pages comparing the presence of male and female writers in writing, or perhaps men’s lifestyle magazines, but not male literary journals... A search for female writers returns pagefuls of writer and story recommendations, and more pages expressing untarnished support for female writers. A search for male writers return a few recommendations, followed by page after page of sites analysing male writer tropes, pitting male writers against females, and dismissing of male writers... I’ve seen only one publisher explicitly state that they do not care about an author’s background, only about the story. I’ve also seen calls solely for women writers, disabled writers, writers of colour, writers of non-heterosexual orientations, and other minority identities. I have not seen explicit calls for male writers... There is privilege in literature. But it’s a different kind of privilege. It’s a privilege earned by yelling privilege again and again, influencing the creation of content to stand up against that privilege, and setting up privileged spaces to stand against a different kind of ‘privileged’ literature. Me, I don’t care about privilege. Writing is writing is writing. As an independent writer I choose not to participate in the politics of privilege. I think it’s trivial nonsense, and I have the tools to step around this politicking. The publishing revolution means that anybody can publish — which means there are no gatekeepers to prevent someone from being published, and therefore no external discrimination."

Race to boost grades sees tuition centres rise | My Paper | 我报 - "TUITION used to be seen as extra help for struggling students, but is increasingly being viewed as a necessity for students to do well in school - further fuelling demand for it here. Parents and tuition centres say the extra hours and greater individual attention in the smaller classes at centres give students an edge in the competitive education system here. These have become important as the school syllabus has become increasingly challenging... The number of tuition and enrichment centres registered with the Ministry of Education jumped from 700 in 2012 to 800 last year, and 850 now... Neo Zhizhong - co-founder of Beautyful Minds, a tuition centre with several branches - said: "Parents don't necessarily want their children to do well for their own sake. Sometimes, they simply want their children to do better than others. "If my son scored 98/100, but someone else's daughter has 99/100, then it's time for tuition." "

iPhone 6 & iPhone 6 Plus Problems Continue - "We also expect the iOS 8.1.1 update to deliver some problems of its own. Incremental updates have, in the past, been problematic for iPhone and iPad users and we don’t expect iOS 8.1.1 to be any different. Again, it’s hard to say what it might break but there’s a good chance that we’ll see users complain about new battery life issues, Wi-Fi problems and issues with Bluetooth. Those almost always crop up after an iOS update."
Comment: "This article has zero information. Thanks for wasting my time."

It pays to be a dad - "Dads had a median salary of $49,000 compared to around $29,000 for men without kids... It may not be that surprising that moms make much less than dads, but mothers still make more overall than childless women. Median personal income among mothers in 2010 was just over $25,000 compared to $20,165 for women without kids. However, moms pulled ahead only because they tended to earn a lot more during their early working years. The findings suggest that dads are getting a boost on the job that others aren't seeing. "Parenthood is giving advantages to men but not to women," said Justine Calcagno, a social psychologist and author of the report."
This is like that story (which I can't find) of the King who was told that a group of men were always seen rushing away from the scenes of fires. He ordered them executed because clearly they were arsonists and responsible for causing fires. But he actually killed the firefighters. Omitted variable bias is huge and accounts for why women are not getting the 'advantages' of parenthood

Bananas are Chemicals, Too - - "'This poster series breaks down all the major ingredients in popular natural foods — using E-numbers and IUPAC names instead of common names where they exist. Anthocynanins, for example, which are said to give blueberries their “superfood” status, are also known as E163'... 'About 99.9% of the chemicals humans ingest are natural. The amounts of synthetic pesticide residues in plant foods are insignificant compared to the amount of natural pesticides produced by plants themselves. Of all dietary pesticides that humans eat, 99.99% are natural: they are chemicals produced by plants to defend themselves against fungi, insects, and other animal predators.'"

Halle Berry’s Child-Support Fight: Female Breadwinners Can’t Have It Both Ways - "While men are somewhat more likely than women to hold traditional views on gender issues, there is evidence that in their personal preferences, women may actually be more wedded—as it were—to the male-breadwinner ideal. In a 1994 study based on U.S. survey data of single adults, men were almost as willing to marry “someone who earns much more” than them as “someone who earns much less.” For women, a higher-earning partner rated 6 points out of a maximum of 7, compared with 3.5 for a lower-earning one. Women were also much less willing than men to marry someone who did not have a steady job. Have things changed in 20 years? Perhaps not, in this regard. In the latest Pew Research Center poll on marriage, one of the biggest gender gaps for singles is in how important people consider employment for a spouse or long-term partner: 78% of women regard having “a steady job” as “very important” in choosing a mate, while only 46% of men do. Sorry, Gabriel Aubry... prejudice against men who aren’t good providers may paradoxically clash with ambitious women’s life plans... Generally, it’s conservatives like blogger Erik Erikson who defend the male-breadwinner role as biological (not quite the case if you look at the animal kingdom). Yet when a man and woman are in financial conflict, many feminists will line up in apparent solidarity behind a woman who upholds the most stereotypical of attitudes about gender and providing... Today feminist websites like Jezebel mock affluent men who want to pay less child support as cheap crybabies—but offer no comment on Halle Berry’s bid for child-support reduction."
People fight harder for their interests than others' rights. Even activists who claim they are for gender equality.

Smart people listen to Radiohead and dumb people listen to Beyoncé, according to study

Christian Bakers Who Lost Their Shop After Refusing to Make a Wedding Cake for a Lesbian Couple Are in for a Major Surprise - "a gay man who fervently disagrees with their stance on homosexuality is planning to willingly give them a large sum of money... as a Christian, he believes that he’s called to love even those with whom he disagrees, so he’s raising the funds so that the Kleins and their five children won’t suffer under the weight of the potentially massive fine... the family has reportedly been harassed by those opposed to their stance on the cake matter, fielding virulent emails and phone calls... “Our culture has accepted 2 huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them,” she wrote. “Second is that to love someone means that you must agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense.” Klein concluded, “You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.”"

SBS bus driver to be disciplined for gay slur - "Public relations consultant and trans-sexual woman Leona Lo, 37, was at the Bedok temporary bus interchange on Tuesday morning when a bus driver hurled an insult at her, she said. "As I was walking to the MRT station, this bus driver started mimicking the way a woman walked and yelled 'Ah Kua'. Other bus drivers started hooting and clapping," she said. "Ah Kua" is a derogatory Hokkien term for a trans-sexual or transvestite."
Maybe he had heard of the show she put up: The Ah Kua Show
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